Sunday, 30 November 2008

THE HOST


Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away.

Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.

When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves—Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.

Firstly, I totally agree with this: "The author of the Twilight series delivers her brilliant first novel for adults: a gripping story of love and betrayal in a future with the fate of humanity at stake." I found this quote at Fantastic Fiction, so I'm not sure who said it. Still, it's very true.

Actually, I stayed up until 3am this morning because I had 60 pages to go and was obsessed with getting to the end. After being on Wanda's journey for so many pages, and loving it every step of the way, I just had to know how and where she would end up.

WOW! What a fantastic book, and the ending didn't disappoint.

I found the tension in this book set the mood so well that I was afraid something bad would happen every step of the way. I also found it amazing to like a character - who wasn't even human and had taken someone else's body - so darn much. But Wanderer was a pure soul. A lovely 'person' who in the end found just where she belonged. And never at the expense of Mel's body. The romance angle was heartbreaking. And just as amazing as the rest of the book.

Anyway, I could go on and on about how much I LOVED this book, and why, but I think the post would be way too long if I did. LOL. I'll just end it by saying that this is a BRILLIANT book filled with amazing characters, and I'll be looking out for all of Stephenie Meyer's books. Definitely.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Just-a-ramblin'

It's not raining stars here in Sydney, but it is raining. Actually, it's been raining pretty much all day. It usually bugs me. A lot. But to be honest, today I don't mind. I got to go for my two daily walks without having to deal with it, so that's fine.

I just hope it doesn't rain too hard later tonight, when it's time to pick my hubby up from work. I'm really looking forward to it. It means the weekend is here! Yay.

I've been feeling really exhausted this week.

After finishing up my NaNoWriMo novel the other day, I took a few notes down for the third installment. Not too many, just enough that I won't forget what's in my head right now. But that's all the writing stuff I've done. I mean, sure, I've been thinking about it a lot. There are two novels that are really getting under my skin, but I doubt I'll do any new novel writing until Feb/March next year. My daughter gets summer holidays soon and hubby is having a month off, starting mid-January.

So, I probably won't be very productive. Still, it'll be nice to have a break. I think. ;) And I'm sure I'll squeeze in a little something here or there. No point in thinking about that now. First, there's December. My revision/idea month. Yeah. That sounds cool. :)

Anyway. Not much going on around here at the moment. I've been taking it easy these last two days. I've been reading THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer. Hell, it's another one of those addictive reads. I can't put the darn thing down. I'm already at page 300-something. Must. Read. More.

This is a really interesting book. I'm lovin' it. Have any of you read it?

Well, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

I did it!

Yep. This is my third successful attempt at NaNoWriMo. Yay!

Technically, I reached the 50k mark on Monday night. Then yesterday, I got the first draft finished. Today, I sat down with lappy and re-read the last two chapters I wrote. Before going to bed last night, I remembered two things that I forgot to tie up. It happens sometimes. I get so caught up on getting the story out that I leave things out. Lol.

Not a prob. I've added everything now. So, the word count went up a little again. The first draft weighed in at 56,194 words. That will probably go up when I do the second and third drafts, but for now the story is told. And I'm very happy with how it's turned out.

Some new things happened along the way, and they all help set up the third/final novel in this trilogy. Funny thing is that the names I've been toying with no longer seem to apply. So it looks like I need to come up with a new trilogy name, as well as the three titles. :/ Why is it so hard to nail the perfect title sometimes?

I've started to read THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer. Anyone read it? I've only just started but the premise sounds interesting. It's a long book, so I'm going to take my time with it. Of course, as the story moves along, if I get hooked on it I won't want to put it down. Lol.

Well, I'm gonna get going now. Gotta listen to Mr. Brightside another one hundred times before my daughter gets home. Lol.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

HOTTER AFTER MIDNIGHT


Dr. Emily Drake’s patients tend to be a little unusual. Instead of the typical therapist’s caseload of midlife crises and mother fixations, Emily treats vampires with blood phobias and sex-demons looking for meaningful relationships. But her gift for recognizing and healing the Other—those creatures of the night that most humans don’t even know exist—requires a few house rules. First: Never trust a shifter. Especially not one like Detective Colin Gyth whose gold-flecked eyes and predatory air make Emily realize how much she’s been longing to lose control…

Colin can’t believe the doctor he’s been assigned to work with on the Night Butcher murder investigation is the one person who could expose his true identity as a wolf shifter. Smart, sexy, and stubborn as hell, Emily brings out the alpha male in Colin, unleashing a wild, heady desire that takes them both over the edge.

But in the shadows, the Night Butcher waits…eager to spill Emily’s blood and taste her terror. And he’ll use any means to destroy her, including the one person she has grown to trust…


I love the colour of this cover, it gives the guy on the cover an Other look. :)

Anyway, onto the story... it was awesome! The chemistry and heat between Emily and Colin is scorching and sizzles off the page. But that wasn't all. I loved this story. Everything - the different POVs, the mystery, the outcome, the characters, the suspense, the world Cynthia has created. All of it! Actually, I enjoyed it so much that I've already ordered the second one in this trilogy. And check out the third one. Lovely cover, but so long to wait between books. :(

This story grabbed me from the very first page, so it's no wonder that I was glued to it and managed to read it in just under 48 hours. Today, I got so caught up in the story that I decided to put my own writing aside so I could get to the end. The tension got so thick that I just had to see how it all turned out. I wasn't disappointed.

I know I'll be watching Cynthia Eden from now on. She's a great discovery.

Monday, 24 November 2008

SUPERNATURAL rocked again!

It's supposed to be spring! Hell, we're about a week from summer and the weather is too cold. It's constantly raining, and I even saw on the news that it's snowing somewhere in NSW. Really, that's WTF? territory.

I'm not asking for much. I'd just like each season to act accordingly. I had enough of the cold weather during winter. And that's how it should be, right? Darn it. Bring back the sun!

Lol. That's me whining about the weather. I knida do that a lot, don't I?

Anyway. I just finished my first writing session for today and have stopped @ 47,129 words. Gosh. I'm so darn close to the 50k mark. To be honest, I'm hoping to cross it tonight. Really. not sure if it's where the story will end, though. But I don't care about that, I'll keep on writing until the story's told. Still, my deadline for that is tomorrow. OMGosh! Yep. I love to set personal goals.

Speaking of which, I've been thinking a lot about that lately. My head is swarming with plans for 2009. I think the direction of my writing overall is going to change a little, but nothing's set yet because I'm saving that kind of planning for next month. Still, it's fun to get excited about goals for the new year. Is anyone else already thinking about 2009, or am I just getting ahead of myself? I find that December is a really hard month for me to focus on writing something new, so this year I'm going to fill it up with revision, planning, reading, and story note-taking.

Well, it's time to go. Gotta walk over to pick my daughter up from school now. See ya!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

UNSHAPELY THINGS

In the alleys of the decrepit Boston neighborhood known as the Weird, fairy prostitutes are turning up dead. The crime scenes show signs of residual magic, but the Guild, which polices the fey, has more "important" crimes to investigate and dumps the case on human law enforcement.

Boston police call in Connor Grey, a druid and former hotshot Guild investigator-whose magical abilities were crippled after a run-in with a radical environmentalist elf. As Connor battles red tape and his own shortcomings, he realizes that the murders are not random, but part of an ancient magical ritual. And if Connor can't figure out the killer's M.O., the culmination of the spell might just bring about a worldwide cataclysm.

This is the first book in the Connor Grey series. I can't believe this one slipped my urban-fantasy-radar, but I'm really glad that I caught it. As a result, I've already ordered the second book and have added the third to my 2009 to-buy list.

Yep. I'm hooked. :)

I don't need to tell you anything about the story because it's already in the blurb above, but I will say that it rocked! Honestly, great book! I really like Connor and can't wait to read more about him and his situation, because I know something's gonna happen with his current lack of abilities. Lots of fascinating characters that I can't wait to meet up again with, too.

This book's a winner and I love the character's name. :D

I just love it when the world of Faerie is shown as the dangerous and mysterious place it really is... ;)

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Cute

It wasn't raining yet when I went for a walk this morning, and the kitty I ran into was a lot smaller than the one in the picture, but this morning I met up with a cute cat. It's one that I always run into. She's a sweet little thing - according to her owner, she recently had kitties - and I hadn't seen her for a bit. But she still seemed to remember me.

I love running into the neighbourhood cats. They're so darn cute. :)

Anyway. The reading is going well. The writing is going well too.

I started reading this book last night and have now reached page 50. Yay! It looks like another winner, too. And I'm now up to 37,150 words in my NaNo story. I won't get a chance to add any new words this afternoon, but I will tonight. My aim is to get past the 40k mark. That would be totally awesome. And since I've almost reached my week's word count goal, I'm feeling pretty good about the progress. Finally. Had a few ups and downs last week, huh?

Well. I think I'll go have some fruit and then try to squeeze in another chapter of my current read before I have to trek out in the rain. Bye!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

MAGIC TO THE BONE


Everything has a cost. And every act of magic exacts a price from its user--maybe a two-day migraine, or losing the memory of your first kiss. But some people want to use magic without paying, and they offload the cost onto an innocent. When that happens, it falls to a Hound to identify the spell's caster--and Allison Beckstrom's the best there is.

Daughter of a prominent Portland businessman, Allie would rather moonlight as a Hound than accept the family fortune--and the many strings that come with it. But when she discovers a little boy dying from a magical offload that has her father's signature all over it, Allie is thrown back into the high-stakes world of corporate espionage and black magic.

Now, Allie's out for the truth--and the forces she finds herself calling on will overturn everything she knows, change her in ways she could never imagine...and make her capable of things that powerful people will do anything to control.


WOW! This book was amazing! I loved every minute of it. It fit perfectly into the category I've mentally setup for myself, which involves urban fantasy books that make me feel relaxed and cozy whenever I sit down to read them. It's an amazing thing for a writer to be able to suck in a reader so much they feel this way. And, I love it when that happens!

OMG! Devon Monk did a fantastic job with this book. I was sucked in from the very beginning. Actually, since I read the first chapter in a sampler she sent me. Allie is just one of those characters that I know I'm going to love reading about for a long time to come. And Zay. Yikes! I need to know more about him. More about this wonderful world of magic she's created. More, more, more!

I can't wait for the next book.The chemistry between Allie and Zay was awesome. And Devon's writing was terrific. I love her voice and style. Yep, this book's a winner!

Monday, 17 November 2008

*no clever title today*

So, is everyone still enjoying SUPERNATURAL? I know I am. :) I'm looking forward to seeing what the angels do about this girl who can hear their frequency.

One thing I've always enjoyed about angels during my research, is how easily they can be portrayed as something other than just a cloud-dwelling entity. I mean, like in SUPERNATURAL, they're supposed to be God's warriors, right? Always engaged in the war between Heaven and Hell, so it makes sense that like any other war, there are going to be innocent casualties. But how Sam and Dean are going to deal with that is what I can't wait to see.

I've written two novels (in what will become a trilogy) dealing with angels, and of course, I've twisted a lot of my research to suit my personal mythos. And it's a lot of fun.

I'll never forget the chaos the angels caused in the second book of Simon R. Green's Nightside series. It was so visual and awesome! I love this series. :) Lol. I'm getting a little sidetracked.

Anyway. My NaNoWriMo novel has nothing to do with angels. But it is going well. I've now hit 31,086 words. The hubby's doing lates this week, so I'll probably split my waiting time for him tonight with adding another (hopefully) 2k, and reading some more of this excellent book. I'm halfway through already, and it totally rocks!

Well, it's almost time to head on over to my daughter's school. We've got to pick up a package this afternoon. I hope it's this book. ;) Bye!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST

Jaz Parks has enough trouble in her personal life. What she doesn't need is more trouble with her vampire boss and another mission. This time she has to retrieve a vital piece of biotechnology by killing the maniac who stole it: an ancient Chinese vamp. Their cover in this mission: professional entertainers at the Corpus Christi's Winter Festival.

The crew's all here: a psychic, a techno-wizard, a singing vampire, a juggling PI, and Jaz. Holy crap in a bottomless well, Jaz is going to bellydance. It's definitely, probably, quite possibly going to be the end of the world as we know it.

This is Jaz Parks #2. I loved the first one and have the next two sitting on my TBR pile. And after reading this one, I can't wait. Lol. But I have to sneak in a few other UF books before #3 because I've been aching to get stuck into them. So much to read, so little time.

Anyway. This book was awesome! I got stuck into it and didn't want to put it down. I absolutely love it when that happens. Jaz is a very likeable character and the situations are made even more interesting because of her profession. Oh, and Vayl is really starting to grow on me. ;) I can't wait for their mutual attraction to become more, though I totally understand why it hasn't yet. Jaz has some issues she needs to deal with, and I think she's done a great job at starting in this installment.

I'm a total fan and will continue to read this series because it's fantastic!

Friday, 14 November 2008

Ouch!

Well, Wednesday was a great day with hubby. And yesterday was cleaning day. Though, technically, that'll continue this afternoon.

Yesterday I vacuumed the whole house and today I will mop up the tiled floors. It's a lot of work, but it has to be done, right? Lol.

My cat got upset that I was cleaning, though. And as I was passing by him in the laundry (cleaned that too), he swiped me with his paw. I felt a burning sensation in my ear and something went flying into the sink. It was my sleeper (small hoop) earring. Ouch! I took a look in the mirror and he actually tore one of the piercings. I have two in each earlobe. It still stings today, and it looks like it's not going to be safe to stick the earring back in.

So, I've decided to let this piercing close up. Not sure if I'll end up keeping just the one on that ear, or maybe remove that one too and keep only the two in my left ear. Uh - decisions, decisions! :)

Sometimes this kitty surprises me. He's got so much strength for such a little bugger. And all because he got upset about my cleaning. I guess everything smells different without the combination of dust and cat hair! ;) He's gonna hate me this afternoon then.

Well, enough about that.

I just got through today's writing session and I'm now sitting @ 27,742. I made it past my goal for this week! Yay. I'm back on track, baby! Fingers crossed that it continues into the next week because the rest of the story is really panning out for me. I've still got two characters to introduce - one which will be the heroine in book #3. Exciting!

This weekend I'd like to get a few more notes jotted down about this tale. Oh, and I've only got 100 pages left to read of this awesome book, so I hope to finish it. :)

Have a great one!


ytd word count: 368,326

Monday, 10 November 2008

It's a new week...

... and I'm almost scared to get stuck into it. Lol. After last week's shocker, who can blame me? :)

Anyway. It's Monday and I've already added some words to my NaNo story. I added about 2k and decided to take a break so that the lappy can recharge a little before I hit it with some more words. ;) I'm almost at 16k, so that's very cool.

It's the hubby's early week, so I get to write during the day. Plus, he gets home earlier than usual. He's also taking Wednesday off, so that's super cool. We get to spend the day together, although that does mean no words. Still, I can handle that.

Well, over the weekend we caught up on BURN NOTICE and SUPERNATURAL. Plus, DEXTER. OMG! Are these three shows awesome or what? Can't wait to see what happens to Michael after that explosion. Yikes! The giant teddy in SUPERNATURAL? How funny was that? And DEXTER - just when I was positive the show couldn't possibly get any better, it does!! I love it.

Well, the novel's going good. The hero and heroine are finally together. It's not going to be a nice and happy ride, but I'm really excited about writing it. They've met before, so there's a little bit of something there already, but to delve into their love and let their individual probs cloud the way is going to be interesting. Oh, and if you throw a psycho villain in there too, and a few subplots that'll open the way for book #3, yeah, I'm excited!

Well, have a nice day!

Friday, 7 November 2008

TGIF!

Yep. Definitely.

This week has been a little up-and-down for me. Not a very comfy week to embark on writing a new novel while participating in NaNoWriMo. :/

I haven't done any reading.

Although I did start researching a new novel idea yesterday. I think it's going to be a fun one that at the moment is just a teeny-tiny thing percolating inside my head. But I'm excited anyway.

Okay, here's my NaNo update: as of last night I was sitting @ 11,596 words. Less than 1k away from my weekly target, so I'm grateful that I at least had the chance to catch up. Next week's going to be a different story because I'm so into the swing of this story that I hated to stop. But there was no choice. It was late and lappy had no juice. Lol. :)

As you all know, Fridays aren't very productive for me. And today the hubby went to work super late, so we only just got home from dropping him off. It was awesome to have him home all day, but the traffic was a killer on the way back. We also stopped by the library. Good to see my daughter's enjoying the books she's been borrowing. Even the library was full, though.

Phew. I'm glad we're home now. Soon, it'll be time to get dinner ready, tidy up afterward and I might get my daughter to watch a movie so that I can add some new words. Gotta meet that weekly target and back it up all over the place so that I don't lose anything else...

Anway, have a great weekend!


ytd word count: 353,936

Monday, 3 November 2008

Mondays seem to suck lately!

Yep. They do.

The weekend was great. I had a great time with my hubby and daughter watching a few things, going for walks, and ducking into a few places. It was cool. I even managed to squeeze in the first round of edits for another one of my upcoming CP releases, THE CAT'S CHARM.

Then Monday rocks around. This morning was great - I got some yoga done, the hubby and I went for a nice long walk, we had a nice lunch, and hung out together before it was time for him to go to work. Then he leaves. I grab my NaNo notes and lappy and sit on the couch. But when I plug in my 2GB USB stick, nothing is accessible. Actually, the writing underneath each folder looks like gibberish. Nothing makes sense. So, I pull it out and try it on the other two computers we have. Nope, still the same incoherent type.

I'm screaming mad by this time because I'm slowly realising that the USB stick is totally stuffed and there are things on there that I haven't copied anywhere else. Not even onto my lappy. So, I've lost a bunch of pictures, the first chapter of a new novel idea I had a few weeks ago, and the first chapter of a new novella I started last week. That's all I can remember so far. I'm positive I'll think of other things soon... like all those freebie eBooks I downloaded. :/

Now, because of all this crap, I still haven't started my NaNo novel. I was so excited and ready to roll this afternoon and then later tonight, but now I can't concentrate on anything. All I want to do is update what I can remember/salvage onto my 1GB sticks. :/

I think the one thing I will concentrate on tonight is getting the second round of edits for THE CAT'S CHARM done. At least it'll be some progress and the day won't feel like a total waste. All I can do is cross my fingers and hope that tomorrow ends up being a better day, so I can finally get my novel started.

Luckily, there's still a lot of time before now and the end of the month...

 
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